Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Footpaths, not manifest destiny

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  • Steve Todd, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Not quite, Rich. Under my scheme, a group getting 40% of the vote in a 7-seat ward would be guaranteed 3 seats (3 x 12.5% = 37.5%).

    In New Zealand local elections, we have either either FPP or STV. As I've said to you before, if you want something else, you've got a heck of a lot of work ahead of you - a good 10 years of hard slog, which would almost certainly be in vain. I believe all local councils using STV should be elected at-large, but I realise that is a step too far for Auckland at this time. Each successful (AK) candidate would need only 4.76% of the city-wide vote to be elected (100 / 21 = 4.76%) - not bad.

    What would your "genuinely proportional system" look like? Straightout Party List, elected city-wide? Each group would gain an extra seat with each additional 5% of the votes attained (no doubt having to overcome a 4% or 5% threshold), but electors would have no say over which individual candidates would be elected. At the local level, that would not be a goer.

    London Assembly-style MMP, perhaps? In those elections in 2012 (next one on 5 May), 25 members were elected - 14 from single-seat FPP constituencies; 11 city-wide from party lists. Labour and Conservative candidates are the only ones ever to win the FPP seats. In the current Assembly, Labour has 12 seats on 41.14% of the vote (PR, only 10); the Conservatives have 9 seats (31.99% - PR, only 8), the Greens have 2 seats (8.54% - PR, 2) and the Lib Dems have 2 seats (6.79% - PR, 2). UKIP got 4.52% of the vote, but did not get a seat, not even one of the 2 remaining true PR seats - which they were entitled to. Labour and the Conservatives ended up over-represented. Is that any better? I think not.

    So, why not let us have a reasonably comprehensive description of your preferred PR system for local government elections, so we can compare it with properly-implemented STV (not the inadequate 3-seat wards (and one 2-seater) system we have in Wellington).

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Todd, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I forgot to mention that while UKIP should have got one seat (in my view), there was an arbitrary 5% threshold that the party did not overcome. Very unfair, considering the natural threshold was 4%.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Todd, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    I have some comments to make in response to your post, Keir, but it will have to be tomorrow evening now. Other things to be getting on with this evening.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    Agreed that UKIP should have got a seat. I'm not really quite sure what the point of the London Assembly is sometimes, it seems equal parts Parish Council and Mayoral Review thingy. Which perhaps does it a disservice. Ordinary voters don't seem to worry about it too much, they/we tend to focus on the ordinary local government, if at all. But that makes sense as the latter deal with the kind of stuff that people use - schools, social services, local planning, libraries etc.

    These councils also tend to be largely party dominated parliamentary systems, where any given council might have 65 or so councillors. Very few seem competitive (I'd guess under half a dozen out of 32), with one particular party, usually Labour, dominating. FPP of course.

    I'm still not sure which system I prefer, party or independent.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1019 posts Report Reply

  • Morepork, in reply to Russell Brown,

    left, or the left in general. At least not at local board level. You can’t argue over parks maintenance, or library upgrades, on philosophical bases. That stuff belongs in academic writings, not at the coalface. There are some issues where an ideological view can proceed over pragmatism, but not many. Mostly, you need to get on at local board level at least, to get things done. These are the reasons I believe I was voted in as deputy chairman of the Kaipatiki Local Board in 2013, even though those

    You're right, left or right doesn't matter if local board budgets are going into parks and libraries as they should. But for some boards increasingly the funding goes into Trusts. And those trusts are stacked by the local board members. Issues with deliverables, transparency, declarations of interest, accounts,decisions made inside the trust outside of the public process of public agendas and minutes. Not all local boards are created equal. Best system is one of checks and balances with a mix of candidates left right and independent keeping it honest.

    auckland • Since Nov 2015 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to George Wood,

    Thank you for commenting here, George.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Cameron Brewer is against intensity in the east.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers, in reply to Phil Lyth,

    I'd be interested in campaigning for a change to STV for Auckland Council.

    The last two elections saw more than 50% of the votes cast elect no one at all.

    2010 result analysis: http://goo.gl/m4pWhX

    2013 result analysis: http://goo.gl/RiO8OJ

    The last election saw two wards not vote as not one person stood against the incumbents.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers, in reply to Sacha,

    Brewer isn't running again, last I heard.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers, in reply to Steve Todd,

    Are you in Auckland, Steve?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Steve Withers,

    A relief, eh. Probably got tired of getting nowhere.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers, in reply to Patrick Reynolds,

    Correct. First Past the Post is the problem. Just as it recently gave 100% of the seats on the AECT to C&R, it allowed many Council members to be elected with barely a 1/3rd of the votes cast….in both 2010 and 2013.

    I looked at this at the time. http://goo.gl/m4pWhX and again 2013.

    I posted about it pretty much everywhere I could think of, including here, but there wasn’t much interest the fact that well over 50% of votes cast didn’t elect anyone at all (over 62% in 2010).

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Werry, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Depends on the board - some are much better than others.

    Since Mar 2009 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Doug Myers ... declared that libraries were not a public good because it was no use to him if a poor person could read books

    Yes, I recall that. And now I earn 6 figures, as a previously poor person who relied on public libraries at the time, I still revel in the fact that my paltry spending power since has never knowingly gone to any of his enterprises. (Probably indirectly via tax handouts, alas.)

    I don't think of myself as someone who typically holds grudges, but yep, that one got to me.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    If we want to stay away from national partisanship in local body elections, I think an MMP-syle system would be a backward step. Perhaps less backward than the current situation, but STV works fine in terms of proportionality.

    Speaking of the Australian mess, I can think of no reason why the states persist as separate entities. They made sense during the settler period, but now it's just another layer of bun-fights. If the UK can manage with local councils and national govt with 3 times the population, I don't see why Australia can't.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • George Wood, in reply to George Wood,

    Councillor Ross Clow sets out a very good summary of how Auckland Council got so out of touch with the community over the long term plan 2015/2025

    North Shore • Since Jan 2016 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    Thank you for commenting here, George.

    Indeed. We appreciate the engagement.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell,

    Y'know - the people of Dunedin feel so sorry for Aucklanders, that we're going to invite a select few of you to join us here:

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/369062/drive-lure-aucklanders-move-here

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin, in reply to TracyMac,

    It isn't clear that the UK can cope with the current set up, in any event, devolution has come to Scotland, Wales, London and returned to Northern Ireland a decade ago, leaving only England running under the old model. In England this last year or so a lot of city conurbations have started to negotiate or obtain some form of local devolution - Manchester for example will apparently soon take over a lot of powers from London and other deals are being discussed.

    No one really seems to have a coherent plan or logic for devolution in the UK, so it isn't the best model to look to right now.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1019 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Teach your council well...
    - for Chchch readers -
    Save City Care
    Join Keep Our Assets Picket
    Today This Wednesday (13/1) 4.30-5.30 p.m
    at CC Depot, 245 Milton St, Sydenham,
    (Near Colombo street end)

    Stop the madness...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Not Auckland related again (I know, who knew such a concept existed…)
    – but as there are statisticians in the house, can anyone explain to me how this might work:

    Between 2012 and 2013 the number of burglaries recorded in Canterbury increased from 5661 to 5707.
    That number dropped to 5500 in 2014.
    Of those 670, 787 and 712 were resolved in 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively.
    A police spokeswoman said the way burglary statistics were recorded had changed since 2014 so the number of victims was counted instead of the number of burglaries.
    Between January and October 2015 a total of 6201 were victimised by burglaries.

    source

    What use is the statistic of ‘how many victims’?
    surely ‘how many unique burglary events’ is still relevant?

    Are they are trying to hide useful information again – to what end?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    That's not the dumbest thing I've ever heard of, but its up there! So if my house with five people in it gets burgled, is that five victims? But if they don't take anything belonging to one of the kids, is that now four victims? What if they take my dog's squeaky toy, is he now another victim? I've got some of my Mum's stuff in the garage, if the burglar takes that, is she added to the victim total? And I have a couple of DVDs borrowed from a friend, and Dad gets some of his mail delivered to my place. If I get burgled, there's potentially 10 victims there, or if they don't take much, only a couple.
    That has the potential to be a really crap metric.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Jeremy Andrew,

    That has the potential to be a really crap metric.

    Crime victimisation surveys are a well-established thing – it can be useful to know the total number of people affected by crime in a territory – but I'm not sure it makes sense for the police to be doing it this way.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Crime victimisation surveys are a well-established thing

    They are also a highly charged political metric. Sadly too often the measure gets changed in order to make the management look better instead of trying to figure out if the actual crime rate is changing in any significant way.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    Stop the madness…

    The madness has dressed itself up as bottomline sanity, wears formal attire and...

    changed in order to make the management look better

    Madness
    Theres no stopping it now. Just have to wait it out, I'll be dead by then.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

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